Rafa Benitez calls out Brighton defender over Newcastle comments

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Rafa Benitez has hit back at Bruno after the Brighton and Hove Albion captain suggested Newcastle United's fans were ready to turn on the club's players.

Benitez's winless side are second-bottom of the Premier League ahead of tomorrow's game.

And Bruno said: “They’re going to start the game very fast and we have to try to control the pace. Their fans will be behind them, but if they don’t play well, they’re going to be on them."

Benitez responded to Bruno at his pre-match press conference.

"Our fans, they have something to prove, that Bruno is wrong," said Benitez. "Because Bruno was talking about the fans will get on top of the players if they make mistakes, but our fans are very clever.

"They know this team, they care, they're professionals and they care and they work really hard.

"They know also our strengths and weaknesses, and one of our strengths is our fans behind the team. If they see something wrong, they will still be supporting the team.

"I'm sure at the end of the game, and at the end of the season, that everybody will be happy because the relationship between the players and the fans is quite strong. They showed that in the Championship, they showed that last year, so I think Bruno is wrong."

Meanwhile, Paul Dummett has been passed fit to return to action, but Salomon Rondon and Ciaran Clark remain sidelined.

Benitez said: "Rondon has been doing part of the training session, but is still not available. Clark has had some treatment for a muscle problem, he's not available. Dummett has been training normally and is available to play."